Hello. We use computers and our indomitable will to transform pure thought into digital magic.

Founded in 2009, Go Free Range is a worker co-operative with some of the most experienced application developers in the UK.

We pair our extensive development experience with the complementary non-development skills necessary to give software projects the best chance of success.

As worker-owners we have a vested interest in your project: success for you means success for us.

We work really hard to add value beyond being just units of developer resource. We’re a fully fledged team that work well together, and have done for many years. We think we’re most effective when working closely with the client to shape the direction of the product.

Although Ruby and Rails is what brought us together, our many years of experience mean that we’re comfortable turning our hand to most languages. Collectively we have experience of Java, Python, Swift, JavaScript and more although we believe the approach is more important than the language or framework.

We’ve worked on substantial projects for the likes of O2, the Government Digital Service and FutureLearn, an offshoot of the Open University.

Significant Projects

  1. Code Club World

    Code Clubs are a global network of free coding clubs run by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. During the global pandemic of 2020 these clubs came abruptly to a halt. We worked with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to build Code Club World a site that allows children to learn to code at home, while retaining some of the social experience that makes Code Clubs so special.

    Screenshot of the Code Club World map view

    Forming a multi-disciplinary agile team with the Foundation’s own designers, learning technologist and product manager we took Code Club World from concept to public beta in 12 weeks. Using React, Rails and modern browser technologies such as SVG and Web Audio we created a fun, app-like experience that works on any device.

  2. FutureLearn MOOC Platform

    FutureLearn, a start-up founded by the Open University, approached us in April 2013 to help build the first UK platform for massive open online courses (MOOCs). We jumped at the chance to get involved in such an exciting project!

    We played an important role in the team from the beginning; promoting a strong agile development culture as we helped ensure the platform was ready for the public launch in September 2013, and then again for the uncapped courses in January 2014.

    We think it’s a great project, with a great team, and we’re proud to have been involved.

  3. Government Single Domain

    We worked with GDS to help deliver the “Single Domain Project” for the UK government. The aim of the project is to deliver a simpler, smaller, nimbler, cheaper and better gov.uk domain for citizens and businesses to interact with the government and its services. This involves consolidating services from the multitude of existing government agency websites into a single, modern and usable system.

    Our specific role was to develop a platform to allow the various government departments and agencies to communicate with the public about their policies, publications and goals in a uniform way to increase the clarify, usefulness and reusability of that information.

Fuller list of projects

Our thoughts, ethos and process.

Using an agile/XP-based process is fundamental to our business. Much like the software it helps us to build, our process is always evolving and changing to meet the requirements and challenges with which we are presented.

We urge you to talk to us about your project. To give you an idea of how we work, our approach is framed by three guiding principles:

Software is alive

  • We know that software is not a static artefact and so cannot be described by a static spec or plan.

  • It needs to grow and evolve according to its environment, to best suit the needs of its users.

  • These needs change over time, even as the software is being built.

  • By getting early and regular feedback from users in real scenarios, we can identify and fulfill these needs.

  • By not compromising on quality and by avoiding unnecessary complexity, we can keep the system flexible and adaptable.

Always a product

  • We deliver working software every week, giving you visibility of tangible progress.

  • We develop your product incrementally, making the most valuable features available as early as possible.

  • We work iteratively, refining functionality based on feedback from you and your users.

  • By keeping your options open, you have complete control over your budget.


  • We want to work in partnership towards a shared goal.

  • We will challenge you and expect you to challenge us.

  • We often write software in pairs.

We are selective about the projects we work on, based on the challenge and interestingness of project as well as the nature of the business involved.

A little background on our team

Founded in 2009 on the basis of mutual respect for each others’ work and character, our team is made up of complementary skills and a shared vision of how software should be built. Respected by clients and the online development community, we are experts at building software for the web.

  1. Photo of James Mead

    James Mead

    Since spending a couple of years as an electronic engineer on an Antarctic research station, James has spent the last 20+ years developing software at a number of consultancies and startups in the UK and US. After a stint at Thoughtworks working for clients like Dixons, AOL & Fidelity, he was the first employee Ben hired at Reevoo, a London start-up that was an early adopter of Ruby on Rails. Other claims to fame include helping develop the website for Antony Gormley’s One & Other project for the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, and being the author of Mocha, a popular open-source Ruby testing framework. James joined GFR in early 2010.

  2. Photo of Chris Roos

    Chris Roos

    An early career spent using Visual Basic 6 left him searching for something better. He spent a while using .NET before discovering the joy of Ruby and Ruby on Rails in 2005. This early adoption led to a job at Reevoo where he enjoyed working with Ben, James A and James M. After leaving Reevoo, he spent 18 months working on various Rails projects at Headshift before joining GFR in late 2010.

  3. Photo of Chris Lowis

    Chris Lowis

    Chris started his career as an acoustical engineer working for the German Aerospace Center and completing a PhD at the University of Southampton. He joined the BBC in 2009 and worked in the Radio and Music and Research and Development departments - building things such as the BBC Introducing website, voice-controlled games for children, automated metadata tools for the the World Service archive and a Web Audio-powered recreation of the Radiophonic Workshop. Chris left the BBC in 2014 and joined FutureLearn - the Open University-funded MOOC platform. There he founded and managed the Data Science team. He joined GFR in 2017.

    Chris is an invited expert on the W3C’s Audio Working Group and an Ambassador for DataKind. He likes Ruby, JavaScript, R and things that go “bloop”.

Alumni: Ben Griffiths, James Adam, Tom Ward, Jason Cale, Kalv Sandhu, James Andrews, Luke Redpath, Gregory Bent

Show and tell

From 2014 until 2019 we ran a monthly event where people demonstrated side projects, open-source projects, etc, in an informal setting with the aim of garnering friendly and constructive feedback.

Get in touch

Want to work with us?

Before we get acquainted here is the low-down:

  • Timing: We’re looking for new projects in 2024. Please get in touch if you have a project in mind - we’d love to hear from you.

  • Organisation: We prefer to work as a whole team (we don’t offer individual contractors), and we require direct communication with the actual project decision makers.

  • Scope: We aren’t looking for a detailed specification, just provide us with a flavour and some enthusiasm for what you want to do and we can discover the rest together.

  • Budget: Since we deliver working software of value to your business with each iteration, we give you the flexibility to disengage at any point. We’re confident that the quality of our work and the rate at which we deliver it will have you coming back for more.

  • Public sector clients: We’re a registered supplier under the UK government’s Digital Outcomes framework and we’ve partnered with suppliers on the Digital Specialists and Programmes framework.

Get in touch

Phone: +44 (0)20 3823 6286

We are a co-op

We’re proud to be a worker co-operative and a member of Co-operatives UK.

Member of Co-operatives UK

Go Free Range Limited is a company registered in England under number 06789592, whose registered office is Lytchett House, 13 Freeland Park, Wareham Road, Lytchett Matravers, Poole, Dorset, BH16 6FA. VAT registration number 947510611. EU VAT registration number 372029928. DUNS number 211494014.